OMG. I'm a techie.

It is official now: I have new responsibilities at work. I am now Finance and Personnel Manager PLUS the Technology Coordinator.

My boss has noticed how comfortable I am with computers, iPhones, etc., and thinks I am a good fit for the job. My new duties are supposed to phase in, while the person who has been in charge of the job phases out. However, I am seeing distinct signs of him abandoning all concerns with the health of the network. Time for me to get stirring and to take command of the situation.

What have I inherited?
- A WAN/LAN spread between four buildings on two facilities.
- A peer-to-peer network that hooks us up to the Internet.
- A workplace that has become as dependent on Internet access as we are on drawing breath.
- Closets full of wires labeled with the names of people who have retired or moved to different offices.
- A system that is persistently giving out bad IP addresses when people boot up in the morning. It sounds like a wireless router is hooked up incorrectly. The one I suspect most is in a closet that looks like a plate of spaghetti, it has so many ethernet cables. I will have to trace out where the equivalent of the wall jack is to know if it has its wires crossed.
- A storage room full of disassembled computers, strewn across the floor. These are all ancient beasts, long out of service. The outgoing tech guy has resisted throwing it all out for years, saying there are useful parts in the chaos. He has gotten his way, partly because there is no place in our area to responsibly dispose of old computers.

What have I done so far?
- Picked up a shipment of 6 HP computers from a GM plant that is closing in May. These puppies have very decent operating speeds, a small footprint, and they are all alike. If all goes well, we will have 4 or 5 of these in use by the end of the month. These computers are a gift to us, as GM does not want to ship them back to a warehouse in Michigan. Just think of how many excess computers they have right now... They may be able to give us an identical computer in late May.
- Picked up two networkable laser printers from the same donor. They are also checking out a networkable color laser printer and an additional B&W printer. I'm going to be able to set up shared printer stations throughout the facility, and finally get rid of all of the inkjet printers. IF I can get the IP address situation solved. The networkable printer in my office has not been able to pull down a valid IP address in two weeks.
- Started a technology plan, complete with goals and a SWOC analysis (strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/challenges). Golly, I am actually using stuff I learned during my masters program!
- Communicated with the department heads, asking what they need. Now let's see when and if they get back to me.
- Contacted a technology consultant who works with a counterpart agency in another county. She will understand how much of our setup works.

I have always been a fast learner when it comes to software. I'm going to have to add more than a dab of hardware expertise to my portfolio now. I am hoping that the consultant will teach me. Thank goodness my boss is willing to invest in some expert help.

After eight years of journal entries, accounts payable, and grants billing, I was feeling a bit bored with my job. I suspect that the next few months, traditionally a slower time for me, are going to fly by as I get a handle on all things techie.


  1. You are a techie! I wish I knew what you were talking about! ;) (and now you have access to my blogger blog too! :) )

  2. Welcome to the geek crew!
    BTW: How are you working around the bad IP addresses now?

  3. I solved the problem! My gut told me that two cables on one of the routers were crossed, so today I switched them and, voila, the print queue that has been sitting on my printer for the past 2 weeks from the ethernet driver suddenly pushed all that paper through.

    We were all disabling the LAN when we turned our machines on, then re-enabling it. That pulled down a valid IP address.

    Funny thing, this time when I looked in the closet, there seemed to be half as many cables as there were the first time I looked. :-)


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